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Old 04-22-2011, 10:55 PM
 
24 posts, read 194,609 times
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I was recently in NOLA and then in suburban Florida and I must say I found NOLA to be a much more pleasing place for a middle class family to raise kids. Suburban Florida was like this huge, cookie cutter, place with absolutely no culture, unless you count strip malls and big box chains (lol). The schools there weren't that impressive either (even private schools) and it seems like there is very little intellectual culture in FL. There just seemed to be so much pressure and emphasis on having a luxury car, the perfect beach body (plastic surgery), and money more than anything with any substance. Of course this is a generalization, but you see what I mean...

Then I went to NOLA and just felt so at-home. I spent most of my time walking (we parked at Whole Foods on Magazine, then walked, and walked, and walked). I also loved how much nature there was (live oak trees!) and it seems like there is an increasing "back to nature" movement going on there with the farmers markets, food co-ops, etc. I felt totally safe and was just so tickled by all the small businesses, restaurants, bakeries, etc. Then we visited a couple schools, like Ecole Bilingue de la Nouvelle Orleans, Lusher, and Isidore Newman, and these schools were surprisingly diverse and most of the parents and teachers seemed like they were fairly well educated.

The other thing I found interesting is that there just seems to be such a diverse range of people here - musicians, artists, writers, etc. It wasn't like everyone was a freakin real estate agent, like in Florida! And I think it's just great that there are so many family friendly festivals, activities, etc. going on all the time in NOLA, many of which are either free or low cost.

So I can see how it's not exactly the right place to go for the cookie-cutter, 3,000 square foot house, mini-van driving, suburban lifestyle, but is that such a bad thing? I'm just curious to learn more about the deeper issues that are going on that I might not be aware of (being an outsider and all). Anyone care to shed some light? I'm already aware that it has an awful, corrupt public school system, but the private schools seemed pretty reasonable and they definitely cost less than other parts of the country.
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Old 04-23-2011, 07:42 AM
 
194 posts, read 495,053 times
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I've lived here for a year now and your "first impressions" pretty much reflect my experience so far. There are a LOT of families here, and I think it's a great place to raise kids. You will hear a lot of naysayers on here telling you how prohibitively expensive and crime-ridden the city is. As far as crime, this IS a city, not a remote suburb (where bad things still happen, btw), but the crime is not really random like in a lot of places. If you're the type of parent who wants to let their kid roam around wherever they want, then you shouldn't live here. If you're the type who knows where their kids are and what they're doing, and you want to raise them in a diverse, culturally vibrant place full of nature and history, then New Orleans is a good candidate for that.

As far as expense, it's not the cheapest city to live in, but it's certainly not the most expensive. There are tradeoffs - you can certainly get "more house" for the money in a suburban area, but you don't get all the perks of living in a truly unique place. I'd have given up a lot of "normal" to have grown up in a place like this!
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Old 04-23-2011, 04:00 PM
 
Location: Alexandria, VA - Kingstowne Subdivision
391 posts, read 493,863 times
Reputation: 361
It's a bad city for bad parents. If you take care of your liter you won't have any problems. Every city in America have problems with crime and poor schools. It's up to you to decide if you will let the ills of the outside world effect your household. I choose to not let it effect mine.

I was born and raised in the lower ninth ward from a 2 parent home. I am a married and gainfully employed with 2 beautiful boys. I believe my 2 year old is well mannered for his age (despite going through his terrible 2's). New Orleans can be an awful place for those let the city consume them.

On another note, what is "middle class"? In your opinion, what is the price range of a middle class home? Home prices for the area of magazine next to Whole Foods is pretty pricey. The price range of the home will determine the makeup of the neighborhood.
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Old 04-23-2011, 08:24 PM
 
24 posts, read 194,609 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abraham Walker View Post
It's a bad city for bad parents. If you take care of your liter you won't have any problems. Every city in America have problems with crime and poor schools. It's up to you to decide if you will let the ills of the outside world effect your household. I choose to not let it effect mine.

I was born and raised in the lower ninth ward from a 2 parent home. I am a married and gainfully employed with 2 beautiful boys. I believe my 2 year old is well mannered for his age (despite going through his terrible 2's). New Orleans can be an awful place for those let the city consume them.

On another note, what is "middle class"? In your opinion, what is the price range of a middle class home? Home prices for the area of magazine next to Whole Foods is pretty pricey. The price range of the home will determine the makeup of the neighborhood.
Hi Abraham, a "middle class home" for me is something around $400,000. BUT, I'm from California and currently living in the Northeast, 3 hours north of NYC, so I don't know any better than to think that's "normal". LOL. Tell me, what's considered a "middle class" price range in N.O.? It would be a dream come true if I could get a decent size house (3 bedrooms) in a safe, quiet neighborhood that has a lot of diversity (my husband and I combined are black/asian/hispanic/caucasian) for somewhere around $200,000 but I don't know if that's possible.

Last edited by topaz88; 04-23-2011 at 08:34 PM..
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Old 04-28-2011, 12:14 AM
 
Location: Hither and thither
423 posts, read 1,124,270 times
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I'm a huge defender of the Crescent City, but every time I go there I'm amazed at how few families there seem to be. I'd love to know where thepointykitty is living, because I've lived there on and off the past few years (mostly on) and I'm amazed at how many people I know who are well into their forties that are childless and fully intend to remain so. Many are also unmarried, frequently even unattached. It seems like NOLA is a great place for singles but not at all for those who are looking to settle down--furthermore, those who do settle often move elsewhere when the child is getting ready for school, just because so many of the public schools throughout the metro are out of the question. It's great if you're single and intend to remain that way--quite a contrast from the married-young culture of the surrounding Bible Belt.

This is clearly painting with broad strokes, and no doubt there are some folks who raise their kids in the city very comfortably, but cost of housing, low wages, high insurance rates, crime, poor public schools, and the frequency of natural disasters all stack heavily against it. New Orleans may be perfect for a certain niche, but that demographic often prefers to "let the good times roll" well into middle age, and it's not as easy to do this when you have kids. Think about it: why are there so many bars and restaurants and festivals for a reasonably small and largely impoverished city? Because the moneyed class has lots to spend on recreation since that its what it values. Nothing wrong with this, but having a family does leave far less disposable income for fun fun fun.

Just a thought. My best wishes to those who wish to raise their kids in New Orleans--but it seems to me that the majority of the people having babies in the city are largely supported through public welfare. The people with money to breed are more likely to spend their time (and $$$) soaking up the culture. Obviously some generalizations here, but my experience is that people who choose to live their prime of life in NOLA have all too often decided that kids are not a major consideration.
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Old 04-28-2011, 06:55 AM
 
194 posts, read 495,053 times
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There may well be more childless (or "childfree") people here, but there's certainly no shortage of families. We lived in Broadmoor for the first six months we were here, and it's full of middle to upper class families, and a pretty decent mix of races. We live in Riverbend now and there are a lot more college students in this area, but still plenty of baby strollers going up and down the sidewalk. We also see lots of families in Audubon and City Park. You also see plenty of local families at the parades. Most of the people I talked to this Carnival season had kids with them and live in the city, not the suburbs.

I have no doubt that there are more families Uptown than in Marigny, FQ, CBD, etc. There are more things there for singles and couples to do, and more of a "party" atmosphere, sure. People definitely like to have fun here, but aside from the main tourist areas, I don't find a constant "party" vibe going on, more like an "enjoy life" vibe. I'm not much of a partier, so maybe that's why I don't really see it, but I don't feel out of place at all. This city is rich in architectural, historical, and natural beauty, as well as a general appreciation for music and all types of art. As a kid, I would've been in heaven here!
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Old 04-28-2011, 08:17 AM
 
640 posts, read 1,068,331 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chalcedony View Post
I'm a huge defender of the Crescent City, but every time I go there I'm amazed at how few families there seem to be. I'd love to know where thepointykitty is living, because I've lived there on and off the past few years (mostly on) and I'm amazed at how many people I know who are well into their forties that are childless and fully intend to remain so. Many are also unmarried, frequently even unattached. It seems like NOLA is a great place for singles but not at all for those who are looking to settle down--furthermore, those who do settle often move elsewhere when the child is getting ready for school, just because so many of the public schools throughout the metro are out of the question. It's great if you're single and intend to remain that way--quite a contrast from the married-young culture of the surrounding Bible Belt.

This is clearly painting with broad strokes, and no doubt there are some folks who raise their kids in the city very comfortably, but cost of housing, low wages, high insurance rates, crime, poor public schools, and the frequency of natural disasters all stack heavily against it. New Orleans may be perfect for a certain niche, but that demographic often prefers to "let the good times roll" well into middle age, and it's not as easy to do this when you have kids. Think about it: why are there so many bars and restaurants and festivals for a reasonably small and largely impoverished city? Because the moneyed class has lots to spend on recreation since that its what it values. Nothing wrong with this, but having a family does leave far less disposable income for fun fun fun.

Just a thought. My best wishes to those who wish to raise their kids in New Orleans--but it seems to me that the majority of the people having babies in the city are largely supported through public welfare. The people with money to breed are more likely to spend their time (and $$$) soaking up the culture. Obviously some generalizations here, but my experience is that people who choose to live their prime of life in NOLA have all too often decided that kids are not a major consideration.
The reason we have so many festivals and parties etc. is because we love to live life here AND because we have a tourist economy.

But that aside, NOLA definitely has more families than you think. Just because you see a lot of young married couples going out without their kids doesnt mean they don't have kids. Just look at Lakeview or Gentilly. FULL OF FAMILIES.
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Old 04-28-2011, 09:54 AM
 
194 posts, read 495,053 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcp11889 View Post
Just look at Lakeview or Gentilly. FULL OF FAMILIES.
I'm not very familiar with Gentilly at all but we ended up there other day. There are some really lovely areas there and I want to get to know it better. My only knowledge of it was what I've seen from the highway - stores, etc. but some of the neighborhoods themselves are quite charming. I love that it's a mixed community. I know folks of various races who grew up there and they're all nice ;-)

I need to explore Lakeview a lot more, too. It seems nice enough but more suburban feeling than I personally like. Definitely lots of families, though.
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Old 04-28-2011, 10:02 AM
 
Location: Pereira, Colombia
1,295 posts, read 2,197,714 times
Reputation: 1464
I think New Orleans is a very family-friendly place, if you have a lot of money. If you child slips through the cracks and doesn't get into a selective admissions public school and you can't afford a private one, good luck. Violence, drugs and easy access to alcohol are factors, but then again being a city there is a lot to do like going to parks and museums. Many kids in rural areas are more likely to turn to sex, drugs and alcohol because there's nothing else to do. If people can't afford to have a decent quality of life in New Orleans (and it's quite easy these days to not afford this) Metairie is pretty safe and has decent public schools. The Northshore also. The Westbank? Forget it, that place is straight-up ghetto these days.
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Old 04-29-2011, 09:26 AM
 
1 posts, read 8,534 times
Reputation: 10
Come to Slidell. We are 30 minutes from New Orleans and there is a nice neighborhood called Eden Isles on the water you would fall in love with. Lots of families and there are 2 private schools and 4 public high schools in the area to choose from. You get the safer living but still close enough to New Orleans to enjoy it. Also look into Mandeville. The people are a little snotty but the city is nicer on the eyes and cleaner. They have a nice river for boating and a lakefront. Mandeville is more expensive though.
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